New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The value of labor

I am questioning today why I value my labor experiences and births. I have people ask me that, and I am never quite sure of the answer. There is just something deep down in my gut that tells me that somehow there is a meaning in this. Part of that comes from my training in hospice. Death is often described as a labor also, and many people are surprised at how difficult it can be. There are stops and starts, questions as to is this really it, then the hard work comes. There is pain, peaks and valleys, struggles, the inability to just let go, stress, anxiety, is truly labor.

It is a difficult time, yet I have seen the best in people during this time also. People say I love for the first time in years, hands are held, hearts are touch, words are said that needed to be said, great service was given. It was amazing to see.

Back to giving birth...I have experienced similar things. Especially as people have worked to serve me in my pain. My husband and I experienced a different relationship as we worked together to make it through each contraction. Even when I lost a little one at 16 weeks, it strengthened us in way that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. I have also seen it strengthen other women as they have worked their way emotionally through a very difficult process.

Part of my reaction to labor comes from the fact that I see some value in the trials, difficulties, and pain that we go through in life. Not just in labor, but in any trying time. I have seen this happen in my life, but also in many other people's lives. Things that hurt can also make us better people.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.